223. Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston (Canada) - (USA)

Pages: 299
Ages: 13+
Finished: Oct. 22, 2010
First Published: (Sept. 30, 2010 USA) Oct. 5, 2010 CAN

Publisher: Puffin Canada
Genre: YA, urban fantasy, fairy tales

Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

Once upon a time, fairydust came from where you'd expect. From fairies.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Penguin Group (Canada).

Reason for Reading: I'm a big fan of books with fairy tale characters in a modern setting.

The publisher's summary had me believing that this fantasy was going to be some sort of mystery adventure as the son of the big bad wolf tried to prove his innocence. I was not prepared for the gritty, urban fantasy world that I was about to enter! This is a dark, harsh world that imagines what would have happened if Grimm's medieval fairy tale characters had evolved into bi-pedal, speaking creatures integrated with the human population. Henry Whelp, whose father is in prison for killing a girl and her grandmother, is in detention centre for wayward youth, but mainly animalia, and especially wolves. He doesn't want to follow in his father's footsteps and visits his psychiatrist every week. But when the doctor is found hanging from the rafters one fine day, Henry discovers some secrets and manages to escape. Dust City is the major producer of fairydust since the fairies all took off and left and in trying to prove his father's innocence he is lead on a trail that takes him to the depths of the city's grimy underworld, and learns horrendous secrets about the missing fairies.

This was a non-stop read for me. Highly entertaining and suspenseful, plot driven with lots of action. The cast is a motley crew of creatures from giants and goblins to a lovable elven grandma. Henry is the only one with a full development of background and motivators but all the characters come across enough to have feelings for (or against) them in this action driven novel. It is dark, harsh and gritty. There is violence, bullying, torture and everything else not nice, with a few uncomfortable scenes, but never beyond age appropriateness. Dust City is a book you can really get your teeth into. Mostly populated with male characters, there do come into play two (perhaps we can say three) strong females who carry important roles in the plot.

I was very impressed with this novel, absolutely loved the story and it's dark, gritty tale. A must add to any urban fantasy enthusiast's bookshelf!


  1. I read this book, as well! I couldn't put it down, though... Robert Paul, you are simply one of the best.

    Book reviews


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